Aromatherapy soaps and gels

All soap will get you clean, but adding pure, natural ingredients such as herbal extracts and essential oils will leave your skin feeling silkier. However, even the mildest soap is strongly alkaline, which means that it temporarily disrupts the skin's delicate pH balance and natural oils. To prevent dryness and irritation, use all soaps sparingly and wash with warm, not hot. water.

Peppermint shower soap An aromatic, pick-me-up cleanser for the entire body, this contains calendula essential oil to soothe the skin, peppermint to provide a cooling, refreshing effect and comfrey to heal skin problems. Glycerine is an excellent moisturizer often recommended for delicate skin.

about '/< cup (60 ml) boiling water 2 tablespoons chopped dried comfrey root V2 cup (125 ml) liquid Castile soap 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerine 15 drops peppermint essential oil 10 drops calendula essential oil 10 drops lemon balm essential oil

1 Pour boiling water over comfrey root. Steep for 15 minutes. Strain off through muslin.

2 Measure '/« cup (60 ml) comfrey mixture and add to soap. Add glycerine and essential oils. Stir thoroughly to combine.

3 Pour into a plastic pump dispenser. To use, apply 1 to 2 teaspoons and work into a gentle lather. Rinse off. Pat skin dry with a soft towel and apply a body lotion or oil.

Grapefruit and white clay soap Perfect for washing oily skin, this soap uses white clay and orange zest to exfoliate and extract surface dirt from pores. Pink grapefruit essential oil is refreshing, while orange essential oil is toning and invigorating. The finely milled oatmeal increases the soap's scrubbing power and also helps to smooth and soften your skin.

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All soaps are derived from two basic ingredients: a fat (animal or vegetable) and an alkali (usually lye or sodium hydroxidei. Soap is made by combining the two in a process called saponification, which creates a molecule that attracts both water and the dirt or oils on the surface of your skin. Some conventional soaps are made with tallow (animal fat), while others are made primarily from glycerine, a by-product of soap production that helps moisturize.

Continue reading here: The soap herb

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